Williams: Obama Is ‘A Communicator Who Can Deliver That Unlike Anything We Have Ever Seen’

In the hours following President Barack Obama’s campaign stop for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was beyond giddy at the “magical” stump speech but he was later joined by Brian Williams, who declared on The 11th Hour that Obama will go down as “a communicator who can deliver” enthusiasm “unlike anything we have ever seen.”

Throughout his show, Williams repeatedly marveled at various aspects of the rally whether it was the crowd, the President’s taunting of Donald Trump, Obama’s encouragement for attendees to not become dehydrated in the heat to even highlighting how the President “was not far from the Rocky statute from the top of the museum steps.”

Williams first brought up the rally in the first segment and lacking the sort of self-awareness about Hillary Clinton and her reported reluctance to drink water, he touted Obama’s concern for the health of his assembled supporters:

For folks who did not see this, this was an afternoon event. It was hot outside. Part of his appeal to the enormous crowd there in Philadelphia was to stay dehydrated and at one point, he said bend your knees, don't look your knees, keep going up and down, stay in the game. He was not far from the Rocky statute from the top of the museum steps, went full on after Donald Trump and became easily the most energized and engaged incumbent surrogate for a presidential candidate of the same party in recent times.

Later after a commercial break and a soundbite of the President giving an interview to Hot 105 pop station in Florida earlier on Tuesday, Williams brought up the enthusiasm gap between Trump and Clinton supporters with many liberals simply not excited for 2016 as they were when Obama ran in 2008 and 2012.    

“This has been much talked about as around 6,000 people showed up to hear him speak...As Steve Schmidt mentioned tonight, the President's approval rating sits at 58 percent that’s to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. That's the highest it's been in that poll since just after he was first elected back in '09,” Williams proclaimed.

Continuing to check off the boxes of spin, Williams added that “[t]here was a moment today on the ‘what’s working’ front” because “[t]he President woke up to good news on the income front, there's a portion of the speech dealing with the fact that median incomes are up, poverty rate down.”

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After a clip of the President bragging about supposedly more American having health care, poverty declining, and even taking credit for $2/gallon gas, Williams gushed to former McCain campaign official Nicolle Wallace (as she thanked Obama for the cheap gas): “Nicole Wallace, love him or hate him..speaking of the next person to run, after a singular historic figure, for starters a communicator who can deliver that unlike anything we have ever seen. You can say that clinically.”

This Obama infatuation by Williams happened to jog the memory of this writer back to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when Williams offered this fawning praise on MSNBC immediately after his speech there and embrace of Clinton: 

Incumbent and nominee head off stage after a speech so wide ranging, as a summation, as call to arms as a warning not to embrace fear. As you note, this is his last appearance as an incumbent. It is tempting to say at this time we will not see his kind again. Strip away politics from that statement, for obvious reasons yet but for all the other attributes for the collection of things that he is, including but not limited to, rhetorical skill. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on September 13 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
September 13, 2016
11:11 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: For folks who did not see this, this was an afternoon event. It was hot outside. Part of his appeal to the enormous crowd there in Philadelphia was to stay dehydrated and at one point, he said bend your knees, don't look your knees, keep going up and down, stay in the game. He was not far from the Rocky statute from the top of the museum steps, went full on after Donald Trump and became easily the most energized and engaged incumbent surrogate for a presidential candidate of the same party in recent times. Here is some of his attack on Donald Trump.

(....)

WILLIAMS: Nicole, the military has a great expression, force multipliers and surrogates at their best are supposed to be force multipliers. 

(....)

WILLIAMS: Coming up on the other side, attracting a crowd, as we said, there's something deeper to consider about President Obama's trip to Philadelphia, the strength in numbers he has right now that could help one of Hillary Clinton's biggest vulnerabilities.

(....)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My concern is just making sure that folks, particularly African-American folks, don't say we're not as excited because, you know, Barack and Michelle are leaving so we're just going to not register and we're not gonna vote. If we had that attitude, then we will turn back a lot of the progress that's been made. 

WILLIAMS: If you were listening to Hot 105 in Florida today, then you heard him. That was President Obama on the air with them earlier and concerned about voters' enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. This has been much talked about as around 6,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Philadelphia today, the event we were talking about. As Steve Schmidt mentioned tonight, the President's approval rating sits at 58 percent that’s to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. That's the highest it's been in that poll since just after he was first elected back in '09, that same poll shows it may be an area of need for the nominee Hillary Clinton just over one-third. 36 percent of likely voters who support her are very enthusiastic about her candidacy. Trump has a 12-point edge over her on this key question.

(....)

WILLIAMS: There was a moment today on the what’s working front. The President woke up to good news on the income front, there's a portion of the speech dealing with the fact that median incomes are up, poverty rate down. Here it is. 

OBAMA: Let's face it, Republicans don't like to hear good news right now, but it's important just to understand this is a big deal. More Americans are working. More have health insurance. Incomes are rising. Poverty is falling — and gas is $2 a gallon. I didn't even — thank you for reminding me. Thanks, Obama. 

WILLIAMS: Nicole Wallace, love him or hate him —

NICOLLE WALLACE: Can I say I love that gas is $2? Like I'm psyched every time I fill up. I love that about — thank you Obama. I love my $2 gas, but —

WILLIAMS: — speaking of the next person to run, after a singular historic figure, for starters a communicator who can deliver that unlike anything we have ever seen. You can say that clinically. 

WALLACE: I don't want to like send anyone to the mini-bar, but he's not on the ballot. I mean, Hillary Clinton is. 

WILLIAMS: Well that’s my question. Is love transferrable?

WALLACE: I mean not in my personal dating life but, you know, in politics never before has it been and the truth is polls put out by democratic partisans highlight the enthusiasm gap. 


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